Major Powers and The Lo-Fi Symphony
We Became Monsters
Amazing Pony Records, 2012
San Francisco’s Major Powers and the Lo-Fi Symphony are worthy of cult status, following and devotion along with the ensuing worship and fiduciary rewards that come with said acclaim. This trio sounds like Freddy Mercury fronting a piano lounge trio weaned on klezmer but who’ve devoted themselves to playing off-off broadway showtunes. There are artists who play at being odd or eccentric, but this is genuine. MP&LFS play their music with verve, gusto and devotion, and have dedicated themselves to the moment. They ought to be cast as the house band in some Tim Burton-esque cabaret. This sort of band could only emerge from a city with a rich and storied theater district.
Upbeat and energized, there’s a campy, fun pop feel to all of it and in particular, “Mr. Mysterious,” “The Idiot Parade,” and “Midnight Chorus” deserve to be heard by a larger audience. Like all the best satirists, they use wit to dispense deeper truths. “Nothing seems real/Unless it affects you directly,” Powers sings on “Always Dark.” The lush, rich choral melodies can be deceptive and ultimately feel sweetly subversive, even if they are just being critical of being served, “Peas and Porridge again.”
Pianist-Vocalist and songwriter Nicholas Jarvis Powers seems to have found the right crime partners in brothers Kevin and Dylan Gautschi, on guitar and drums respectively, to serve up this soundtrack without a show that’s quite ready for performance. There are no slouches in this trio and the music is often demanding.
The album “We Became Monsters” is available as a free download here: http://lofisymphony.com/
Ask yourself, do you feel lucky punk? Do you? You may not be the same after these songs run roughshod through your head.